Viewpoint: A Chili’s that burns twice as bright burns half as long

By Ashley Davis
Copy Editor

Fellow students, I must admit that the second week of school has been painful, for many reasons, as I’m sure most of you will agree.

Not only has the excitement and spontaneity of summer become a fading star in our memories, the fall looms before us like a solemn mountain in the distance, threatening us with all the hazy unknowns in our futures.

OK maybe that only applies to us seniors (we’ll get through this together).

As for the freshmen and those of you who are still inexplicably optimistic and full of energy, don’t think you’re off the hook. Something is missing on the Baylor campus — something that was once vital and meaningful has passed from this our hallowed home, and without so much as a tear shed by the various representatives of Baylor.

It was with a heavy heart that I learned that Chili’s Too, located in the Dutton parking garage, was officially closed on July 27.

Apparently with the recent addition of national brands like Mooyah Burger, Einstein’s Bagels, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Which Wich Superior Sandwiches and now Panda Express, there is no room for a tried and true staple on campus.

The official letter to the public from Baylor Dining Services said “it is with mixed emotions” that the restaurant was closed. Like an abused, unwanted dog Chili’s Too has been locked away and forgotten, only missed by the few — like me — who depended on that place for their excellent chicken crispers.

The only thing worth living for if you ask me.

It may not have had the best service, the best décor, or even the best food. I exclude the chicken crispers from that last statement because they don’t count as food — they count as manna from Heaven.

As much as I like Chinese food (and all my friends will vouch an emphatic affirmative), Panda Express can never give me the salty, greasy goodness of those chicken crispers, or the wonderfully cooked chips and salsa, or the deliciously over-salted fries when I’m short on Dining Dollars.

Yesterday, as I reluctantly decided between Chick-fil-A and Panda Express during my lunch break my mind wandered back to a place where everybody knew my name, where I didn’t have to navigate a tedious assembly line behind other students who find the choice between mandarin chicken and walnut shrimp to be a life-changing decision. It’s all highly overpriced anyway.

You may not have liked Chili’s Too when it was here, but at least you could get your money’s worth, no matter how unhealthy it was. For all the health nuts and vegetarians, disregard this whole column.

I’m sure you’re too busy eating salads and fruit to care. But I digress.

Baylor, I come to you not with an appeal to bring Chili’s Too back.

I know it’s too late and that I’m in the minority here. But someone in this cold, cold Lariat office has to say what the minority is thinking. No, we will not go quietly into the night like our beloved Chili’s.

I simply come with the question, “Why?” I read the letter. I know the political and bureaucratic reasons. I’m asking from the part of my soul that mourns the loss of a friend. Why? I know there is no answer, and only time will heal my pain.

So I will continue to stand in these assembly lines that begin to look alike.

I will sit in my usual Tuesday-Thursday lunch spot and slowly chew the food that can only taste of bitterness and disappointment. I will keep my candle in the dark lit in remembrance.

R.I.P. Chili’s Too.

Ashley Davis is a senior journalism major from Killeen. She is a copy editor for the Lariat.